Race TipsTransitionTriathlon Training

Triathlon Transition Tips – Part 2

The Transition Set Up:

  • Pick a good place to rack your bike.
  • Rack with the seat/saddle.
  • Place your glasses inside your bike helmet.
  • Lay down one to two folded towels and make sure the towels will stand out to you.
  • Bike shoes should be either in the pedals so you can slip into them as you begin to ride or on the towels exactly how you will place them on.
  • Race number should already be pinned to you or tucked in your swimsuit under your wetsuit on a race belt.
  • Place running shoes in a location that is accessible and will not get knocked around.
  • Place any running hat on top of shoes to be put on firGR Tri 2011 Transitionst.

IMPORTANT: ALWAYS HAVE THE BIKE HELMET STRAPPED ON WHEN ON THE BIKE. Failure to do this will lead to immediate disqualification.

IMPORTANT: WALK THE BIKE IN TRANSITION. Riding in transition will also result in immediate disqualification.

TIPS for execution:

  • Keep it simple.
  • Practice.
  • After exiting the water, immediately unzip your wetsuit and pull it down to your hips.
  • Never try and drink anything in the swim to bike transition. Wait until you’re on the bike.
  • Rack your bike in a gear that will be easy to turn as you try and get down the road and slip into your shoes.
  • ALWAYS KEEP MOVING, pausing only to place on your singlet, glasses, and helmet to bike, and your flats to run.
  • Forget the socks, T-shirts, shorts etc.  Compete in what you swam in (sans the wetsuit).
  • The last thing you grab from the swim to bike is the BIKE.

Before the Race:

  • Use our Race Day Checklist.
  • Get to the transition area early.
  • Check the pressure in your bike tires before going to transition.
  • Put on sunscreen.
  • Body Glide your neck/ankles/etc if you are wearing a wetsuit to prevent chafing and help with a speedy wetsuit removal.
  • Put your bike in a low gear.
  • Open up your bike shoes and running shoes by loosening the straps/laces.
  • IF you are comfortable putting on your bike shoes while riding, secure them horizontally on the pedals with rubber bands.
  • Roll down your socks to the ankle – makes them easier to get on. (Or bypass socks altogether)

Swim to Bike (T1):

  • When you come out of the water, unzip your wetsuit and pull it down to your waist. This helps prevent overheating.
  • Take off your goggles and swim cap immediately on exit.
  • Pull your wetsuit off inside out. Put it down on your towel out of the way, under the rack.
  • Put on your helmet and fasten it. Grab your bike off the rack and head toward the exit.

NOTE: Helmet on and fastened before unracking your bike!

  • Run to the bike exit using a seat carry — hold onto the back of the seat and steer the bike by leading it.

Bike to Run (T2):

  • When you are coming towards the end of the bike course, shift to a lower gear and pedal faster (higher cadence). This helps prepare your legs for the run.
  • Dismount in the designated area; you cannot ride into the transition area.
  • Keep your helmet on and buckled until you rack your bike.
  • Jog easily with your bike to find your stuff, using the seat carry. Your legs will probably feel like they’re made of stone. It’ll get better when you get out onto the run.
  • Put your running shoes on first.  Use Yankz or another pair of lace locking laces so that you can slip your shoes on and not worry about tying.  Clip on your race bib belt so that your bib number is showing at all times.  This way you can grab the other stuff (hat, gels, etc.) and put them on as you head toward the exit.
  • Enjoy your run!

Happy Training,


Grand Rapids Triathlon

Grand Rapids Triathlon

We are the largest independent triathlon and proud host of five USAT National Championships over the course of our nine-year history. While our event brings in some of the best athletes from across the country, we have also been named one of the Top 5 Best Triathlons for Beginners in the country according to Triathlon Business International. This triathlon event is a chance for athletes of all skill levels to compete on a scenic riverside course, perfect for the novice through the seasoned triathlete. Offering Sprint, Olympic, and Half distance Triathlons, Aquabike, Swim and Relay events, this USA Triathlon sanctioned event promises heart-pounding excitement from start to the finish.